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Local restaurant chain deals with inflation and employee shortages

New "Carlos" restaurant opening in its place
New "Carlos" restaurant opening in its place(WTVG)
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 8:42 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Carlos Mendez’s restaurants, like Cocina De Carlos and Carlos’ Poco Loco, have been wildly successful in the Toledo area, but that doesn’t mean he’s been spared from the woes of inflation and employee shortages.

Carlos and his employees tried something new at Carlos Que Pasa in Cricket West, making the menu completely vegan. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, and it’s closing for good June 30th.

So now a new restaurant of Carlos’ is opening in downtown Perrysburg.

And the main reason Carlos Que Pasa is closing is because of employee shortages.

“We need employees to start running this restaurant,” said Mendez. “We have really high expectations about this place, so we made decisions to cover the employee problem we have to open this location. So we are moving almost everybody from there to here in a couple weeks.”

Mendez’s restaurants are not alone, as there is an employee shortage happening nationwide.

“We need quality employees. It’s hard to train people right now, it’s not like before because you take people to train, and then after two weeks they quit,” said Mendez.

An employee shortage isn’t the only thing Mendez is dealing with: inflation is hitting him hard.

“We don’t know what else to do to continue with the business because when you open a business you want a profit, and you want to start growing. So inflation, it’s incredible how the prices move all around,” said Mendez.

Mendez said he hates having to raise prices. So instead, the new restaurants in downtown Perrysburg, called Lupita’s Cantina, might try something different to combat inflation.

“So probably in this particular restaurant, we will try to experiment a little bit. Okay, you want a fajita? You want rice? Maybe you pay extra. I don’t know. We need to keep the quality without fighting with the suppliers because if you are cheap you will have low quality.”

Lupita’s Cantina does not yet have an opening date set, but Mendez said they are shooting for the end of July.

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